Sega Master System
For the entire month of February I will doing articles on Sega consoles. To start it off I’m going to talk about the very first American Sega console which is the Master System, you can’t go older than the Master System cause before that Sega released the SG-1000 which is Japan only so releasing a console in America is a new step for them back then. They just entered the U.S. gaming market right after the video game crash of 1983 along with Nintendo as the new icons of video games to over shadow the failure of Atari. For more info on Atari’s consoles look them up in my archive of articles. When Sega announced itself in America, Nintendo soon learn that they have a likely competitor. Unlike Atari, Sega would for the next decade ridicule and backlash towards Nintendo by trying to make their consoles look more impressive than what Nintendo had to offer but the attempts would end up backfiring. I’ll explain so in the later articles. So let me talk a little about the history on Sega’s first console.
The Master System was first introduced in Japan back in October 1985 under the name Mark III. Much like how the Nintendo Entertainment System’s Japanese counterpart was called the Nintendo Family Computer or the Famicom(but that’s another story). The system under the name we know was released the following year. The console sold over 3.3 million units which is fairly good even though by 1988 Nintendo was sitting on top of success in the market while Sega was only #2 on the list. The company knew they can do better so they went into developement of the new console called the Genesis as their first step in trying to gain more fame than Nintendo. The Master System’s production was discontinued by 1989 in Japan while it’s 1990 in America in favor of only focusing on the Genesis as their main product.
With a total of 318 games, the Master system was fairly successful at the time and was a good start for Sega’s attempt in the gaming market. Their most famous game for the console was Alex Kidd who had appeared in a hand full of games mostly for the Master System, but unfortunately he hasn’t had his own game since 1990 due to Sega only wanting Sonic to be their mascot rather than Alex. But luckily Alex hasn’t been forgotten as he’s appeared in the Sega All Star Racers game. While Sonic has a long history of his own thanks to the success of Genesis which we’ll be talking about for next week.